7 new Covid-19 cases, lowest since MCO enforced on March 18

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia today recorded just seven new Covid-19 cases, the lowest number of new infections since the movement control order (MCO) began on March 18.

At a press conference today, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said with the new cases, the total number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the country is 8,329.

Two of the new cases are imported ones, while the other five are local transmissions involving Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Sabah.

No new deaths were reported, with the toll remaining at 117.

Noor Hisham said 1,518 patients are still receiving treatment, with six patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), including one needing respiratory assistance.

He said 20 patients have recovered, bringing the total number of patients discharged so far to 6,694.

Of the five local transmissions, two cases in Sepang, Selangor, were close contacts of a positive case, while the sole case in Kuala Lumpur involved an immigration officer at the Bukit Jalil immigration depot.

The other two cases were in Sabah, involving an eight-month-old girl who was being screened before surgery at the Women and Children’s Hospital in Kota Kinabalu and an individual who was tested positive during community screening.

On whether husbands would be allowed to be present when their wives gave birth, Noor Hisham said this would be left to each hospital depending on their policy and other considerations, including space.

He also said the ministry was looking at ensuring social distancing and preventing crowds in health clinics and hospitals, including introducing two shifts and seeing the doctors by appointment.

“We may also expand virtual clinics and deliver medication to patients. We are also looking at the possibility of taking medical services to the communities, like longhouses.”

On when schools could be reopened, Noor Hisham said the ministry would discuss this with the education ministry tomorrow, and if a date is decided, parents will have two weeks to prepare for the reopening.

“Perhaps we will open schools for Form 5 and Form 6 only first before reopening for all students,” he said.

Noor Hisham said if the spread of Covid-19 could be controlled while all domestic sectors were being reopened, relaxing restrictions on international borders could be considered.

“We have to look at the green bubble concept … if the other country has a good record and green zones, we can consider,” he said.

But he said this would also depend on joint standard operating procedures (SOPs) agreed upon by both countries, including when a Covid-19 test would be taken.

“There are many things to discuss, this is still being discussed with certain countries.”

Noor Hisham also said there was a lower number of dengue cases in the first six months of the year, with 48,584 compared to 54,524 cases in the same period last year, though there was one more death (84) compared to 83 previously.

“But in the last six weeks, we found that dengue cases have been on the rise with an average increase of 8% each week,” he said.

Early investigations into the deaths, he said, showed that 11% had sought treatment late, with some three days after showing symptoms.

He said the ministry was expecting an increase in dengue cases from June to September, as was the trend in the past five years, and called on the public to ensure the cleanliness of their premises to eliminate breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito.

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